People react to possibility of COVID-19 ‘vaccine passports’ in NC

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more available, some destinations and businesses are considering requiring proof of vaccination.

When you get the COVID-19 shot, a paper card is currently the most common way to prove you’ve received the vaccine.

“It’s not a secure digital identification,” said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. “It’s not secure like our driver’s license, or our passports, and so it’s a problem.”

Stein said several companies are selling fake COVID-19 record cards online. He is working with a coalition of 45 other attorney generals to stop the sale of fraudulent cards.

“They can be easily copied,” he said. “So, I think having some kind of digital card could be very helpful.”

New York just launched a vaccine passport app for event venues. The app uses a scannable QR code to certify someone’s vaccine status before they enter a business or event.

A woman who landed at RDU Airport from New York City talked about the app.

“My friend is going to the New York Knicks game and she had to get tested, even though she’s vaccinated, and then she had to show the passport,” the woman said. “I know it’s for the benefit of others’ safety, but another part of me thinks this is a form of control that they’re trying to put over people.”

Whether so-called “vaccine passports” will become the standard for going to games, concerts, or traveling around the world, it’s a debate that divides people.

“I’m completely fine with the possibility of having to show proof because I mean, it may eventually help us get to a more regular society,” said Ryan Byrd, who was traveling from Los Angeles.

Others are skeptical, and believe it’s an invasion of privacy.

“For instance, I’m vaccinated, but that’s my personal health history and I don’t think anybody else has a right to infringe upon that or ask,” said Katasha Perry, a physician based in Fayetteville.

She added, “I definitely recommend the vaccine from a public health point of view. But I don’t think it should be mandatory just to go about activities and daily living.”

Stein said he’s unsure if vaccine passports will become common in North Carolina.

“I think having some kind of secure indication that you’ve got the vaccine will be helpful,” he said. “And there are gonna be a lot of businesses that want their people to be vaccinated in order to use their services.”

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